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“dearborn Independent” States Its Present Views on the Jews

March 21, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

What might be considered a promise not to engage in further anti-Jewish propaganda, an apologetic explanation of its recent attitude towards American Jewry and at the same time a veiled attack on the alleged “internationalism” of Jewish bankers, is contained in an article published by the ” Dearborn Independent” entitled: “What About the Jewish Question?– A Frank Exposition of the Present Status of This Situation.”

The article, written in the form of a conversation between a visitor to the editorial office and the editor of the “Dearborn Independent,” gives the assurance that the “Dearborn Independent” “does not expect it ever again to be necessary in America to repeat the thorough-going discussion (on the Jewish question) in which we are engaged.”

Admitting that “those (Jews) of the rank and file are hard working and honest,” that “they have a place in America; they can become highly useful to America,” and asserting that in its previous campaign the “Dearborn Independent” did not intend to attack the Jewish religion, the “Dearborn Independent” launches an attack against what it terms to be “the super-imposed Jewish leadership in politics and finance.”

The “Dearborn Independent” states:

“I see you have an article on Rabbi Klausner’s new book,” said the office, “and you treat it very fairly. Tell me, how did the impression arise that your paper was ever unfair to the Jews?”

“Is there such an impression?” we asked.

“Well, probably not now, but you know there was a time when you were subjected to a good deal of criticism because of your Jewish articles. After that the report was spread that the Jews had forced you into silence.”

“You can put it down as pretty certain,” we replied, “that we were not forced into silence by anyone. There are two reasons: First, we have not been silent; second, there is no force that can compel the “Dearborn Independent” to be silent on any vital public matter. We want, if we can, to set an example of free speech in this country; but we feel that speech, to continue free, must always be fair.”

“Then, why was there so much criticism?”

“There was not any single reason, but a number of them. The Jews themselves said that we were joining in the persecution of a downtrodden people. Their principal men were able to bring political and financial pressure to bear on prominent Christians to repudiate the idea of persecution of a minority. They even drew up public pronouncements. They induced William Howard Taft to deliver an address on the subject which he did with admittedly no study of the documents involved. We ourselves could have signed all the protests against persecution, for we do not believe in it and have never engaged in it. Then there was the opinion based on misinformation that it was the Jews’ religion that was being attacked. Far from that, we have always held that a Jew who followed the Mosaic law and the Prophets’ teachings would be unexcelled as an American citizen. Besides, there was the flabby moral condition of the American mind which made it unpopular to hold any opinions that tended toward disagreement. Gentiles had so far succumbed to pro-Jewish propaganda in this country that even to mention the Jew in any tone but that of extravagant praise was to commit a breach of propriety. It even went so far that a university president in an eastern state said that it was dangerous to mention the Jews at all. So that all that was said on the subject was said by politicians looking for Jewish support or by the Jews’ own numerous press agents. Any American newspaperman will know what it meant.”

“Well, what was it that you had against the Jews, anyway?”

“We had nothing against them as Jews. That would be foolish. If you have read the numerous Jewish books which have appeared during the past five years, you will see that the Jews themselves have wrested with the question of why their presence creates criticism.

“Some of the writers have been honest enough to deal with palpable Jewish faults; others have contented themselves with repeating the century-old explanation that all other peoples are jealous of the Jews because the Jews are abler, smarter, quicker, more successful than they. Dislike is explained by the fact of ‘unlike’; that is, that the manner of Jews are different, that they are foreigners. Now, as a matter of fact, Americans also are disliked where they are foreigners. As to the Jews being smarter, we have never been convinced of it. We don’t think they are. When they play the game according to American standards, they are on a level with other people. But when they throw aside our principles, they make a shoddy success which is not lasting. The worst effect of this is that they sometimes influence Americans to lower their standards to meet the Old-World practices which many of the Jews bring with them; and this, of course, has a bad effect all around.”

“You were not conducting a campaign against Jews as Jews, then?”

” Not at all. How could we have hoped to convince people of the truth of what we were saying, if we had done that? A Jew is a human being He is known of his neighbors. Americans do not take anyone’s word against people they know. There is not a Jew in America who can say that he has been at all discriminated against because he is a Jew.

“But many of them have profited by seeing themselves as in a mirror, and have corrected–or have begun to correct–many of the things which they saw were out of place here. That is, America has been making its way into their minds, and we believe that in the long run they will see that the “Dearborn Independent” has been rather a courageous friend to them. It takes more friendliness to point out faults than to gloss them over. Anyone prejudiced against Jews as Jews cannot discuss them fairly or intelligently.”

“Can you tell me, then, just at what you are aiming?”

“Yes, it can be stated very simply. The Jews had been taught for centuries that they were in the world, but not of it. The rest of the peoples were benighted. They were inferior to the Jew in every sense. Their nationality meant nothing. The nations were, to use the Old Testament word, ‘stranger’s to whom it was lawful to do things not lawful to be done to fellow-Jews. This feeling, the higher it went in Jewish finance, spelled enmity to Christian civilization. It made the Jew a victim of that attitude called super-nationality; that is, he was among all nations, but allied with none. In war, it was not his fight, but the fight of nations with which he had nothing to do. It has been said for centuries that Jewish financiers have been the beneficiaries of wars. There must be some foundation of truth in a conviction that lasts for centuries. There were evidences of it in the last war. What we were trying to do was to unravel the confusion of the world by showing that in all these great tumults there were directing minds, schooled through centuries to know just what to do. Take a family like the Rothschilds, or the Warburgs. They have dealt with governments for generations. They know all the secret springs. International finance, which is a mystery even to some statesmen, is an open book to them. We have shown by Jewish publications that the World War was predicted by Jews years ahead, and not only that, but the results of the Peace Conference as well. We have shown that the destruction of Russia was not an accident, nor yet the results of a popular uprising of the Russian people. We have shown that at the heart of world affairs was a dangerous power, which once seen and known was shorn of half its power. In showing this, we have helped the Jewish people to see that much of their leadership, particularly in politics and finance, was the worst kind of leadership they could have.”

“Oh, that is the ‘international Jew’ that you talked about?”

“Yes. Just as in Germany the Prussian power and the Prussian idea were superimposed upon the German people, who are inherently a good people, so in Jewry this international power follows a program which brings inevitable odium and suffering to all the plain Jews. And just as President Wilson succeeded in showing the Germans the difference between Germanism and Prussianism, so we have sought to show the difference between Jews and internationalists. We believe that the Jews are beginning to see it. It was most natural that the Jewish leaders should do all in their power to misrepresent not only our motives, but all our statements (millions of Jews not being English readers) because once the multitude of common Jews saw the point, the power of international Jewry was in danger. And you may take our statement as fact that many, many Jews have seen the point, not only in this country but elsewhere, and the power of the international leaders is at the beginning of its end.”

“Is there no way for you to get this idea more rapidly into the minds of American Jews?”

“No, so far as we can see. These great results are not attained at once. There must be time for the facts to penetrate. During the period that our articles were appearing there was vehement protest and denial. Since that time, however, Jewish leaders of the better sort have been repeating some of the very things that we said.”

“I have heard that the articles were first inspired by a personal pique of some sort.”

“That was one of the stories circulated. It was said in one report that financial pressure was the cause of it. Another report said that disappointment in Madame Shwiminer’s representation was the cause of it. There were many such imaginative attempts to account for the articles. But there is not a shred of truth in any of them. The work did not arise out of dislike, prejudice, revenge or anything like that. It arose out of the solemn conviction that the time had come for someone to clear the air by speaking out, by speaking such things as any American could confirm by his own conversation. That was the sole reason for the articles being printed. It can be further said that the greatest restraint was practiced in all that was presented. We resolutely cast aside the sensational, the curious, the more arousing facts. Our purpose was not the embarrassment of our Jewish citizens, nor yet to engender suspicion and dislike in our Christian citizens. It was simply an effort to take time by the forelock and do in America in the right what was sure sooner or later to be done in the wrong way. If the work had not had elements of benefit to the Jew as well as to the others, it would not have lived; it could not have gone on justifying itself to an increasing number of both Jews and Christians as it has done.”

“Where do you stand with reference to the Jew now?”

“Just where we stand with reference to any other human being. A socially minded Jew is an asset to America. There are many such. We can quite understand the bonds of racial loyalty which made them cling to their people while denouncing us. But clinging to their people and clinging to the anti-social attitudes which have prevented their people–as a people–from winning the esteem of the nations are two quite different things. There are many, many Jews of the highest honor and character. Those of the rank and file are hard-working and honest. They have a place in America. They can become highly useful to America. But they cannot do that by insisting on Judaizing America, for that cannot be; it is not written in the stars. There are Jewish working men and women by the millions, professional Jewish men by the thousands, who do not approve the ‘international’ idea. They want to be Americans; they want their children to be Americans. And if there should ever come a day in America when the principle of equal rights to the Jew is endangered, the “Dearborn Independent” shall be found quite as powerful in their defense as any that they can look to. We do not say they should cease to be Jews. We do not say that they should ‘amalgamate.’ We do not say that they should flock by themselves. We only say that they should regard themselves as participants on equal terms with others in the responsibilities of maintaining American ideals and in the enjoyment of them. We do not approve social ostracism for the Jew because he is a Jew. It is only too evident that certain social clubs which debar Jews from membership admit Gentiles who are a disgrace. Character, and character alone, should be the measuring rod. We know too many Jews of character to be ignorant of the heights to which Jewish character can attain.”

“What will your future course be?”

“That depends altogether on circumstances. We may say this, however, we do not expect it ever again to be necessary in America to repeat the thorough-going discussion in which we engaged. If the Jews are wise–and we think they are–they will finish the work themselves. There is a great deal of self-criticism going on among them now. Statements which would have roused the most angry condemnation, had they been made in this paper, are now being made in the Jewish press by Jewish leaders. That is what we mean by the Jews themselves finishing the work.

“It is the Gentiles who need attention now. They require a thorough overhauling to disclose wherein they have slumped. They need to be pricked in their pride and their honor until they wake up. And when we start this, there will then be no questions as to whether we are motivated by good judgment and intention, and fully equipped with the facts. We have coined the term Gentile boobs,’ and we think it is entirely fitting to great sections of our people.”

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